By GREG RUSSELL
Register Staff Writer
Monday morning’s structure fire near North Interstate 35 in Gainesville continued through the afternoon — severely damaging the inside of the city’s solid waste site transfer building and destroying some of the building’s equipment.
Gainesville Fire Marshal Jody Henry said the fire at 610 N. Interstate 35, which began in the facility’s unoccupied lower level, caused no injuries but raged in a deep-seated area hard for officers to reach.
“I suspect it’ll be hours before it’s extinguished,” Henry said Monday afternoon. “It’s too hazardous to put firefighters inside the building at this point and from the outside, we’re unable to direct our water streams right where they need to go.”
The fire’s cause was undetermined late Monday, partly because it was still burning.
“I’m not sure that we’re going to fully ever know what happened,” Henry said.
City Secretary Kay Lunnon explained in a statement that the fire began at 10 a.m., and that Gainesville Fire Department officers worked the scene, keeping the fire limited to the transfer station building. Non-essential personnel were evacuated from the facility, including solid waste, garage and parks department employees.
The solid waste facility was closed for the remainder of Monday, though solid waste collection throughout the city is set to continue as scheduled through the week.
Henry said the majority of the fire’s damage was to an excavator and front-end loader parked in the transfer station’s lower level when the fire began.
“I’m predicting that’s going to be a total loss,” he said Monday.